WICHITA — The government is better known for red tape than streamlined processes, but the General Services Administration is working on that, and a change in offices for the Small Business Administration is going to offer something of a test case.
Before the move can happen, there has to be a design phase, which could determine everything from the tint of the windows to security systems in the new office.
“Normally, the process would take … 60 days or more,” says Wayne Bell, the SBA’s district director.
The GSA has a new design intent drawing process that will convene everyone involved in the move — contractors, designers, the SBA, the GSA, a representative for the landlord and anyone else connected with the project.
“You’re going to have all of the players in the room,” Bell says. “With this approach, everything should be complete within a three-day timeframe. It’s a really, really good idea.”
The old way of doing things involved sending drawings to the GSA, then the SBA, which would make changes before sending it back to the GSA. Then the contractor would get the drawings after a protracted period.
“So it could take months,” Bell says.
The design intent drawing creates a condensed timeframe where there’s an on-the-spot rough draft of the SBA’s needs that gets refined immediately with everyone present.
“This is very new,” Bell says. “So it’s going to be kind of an on-the-job learning process.”
The meetings will take place over a three-day period in late October at the Wichita Downtown Development Corp.’s design innovation center.
“What we try to do in that space is make resources available,” says WDDC president Jeff Fluhr.
That includes conference calling and video conferencing.
“We’re thrilled they’re willing to take the opportunity,” Fluhr says of the SBA and GSA. He says the attitude is “let’s walk through it and see what we learn from it.”